Friday, October 19, 2007

Taking a random walk through the core

Now that we have a steady supply of sediment core coming in to the station, every day after our 9am all-ANDRILL briefing, we gather down in the curatorial lab space for the tour of the most recently described sections of the working half of the core. The curatorial team preps the samples by checking to make sure each section of core is correctly oriented and in the right order. When the whole team comes in, everyone has their notebooks and cameras out and

ready. The pace of picture taking is down a little bit from the first sections but there is still a lot of memory space is getting used up on this rock!

Several scientists give a brief overview of the features in the core boxes on display pointing out any areas that are especially "tasty"! Then everyone gathers around to look through the filters of their own interests and research area. They talk animatedly with each other, record information in their notebooks, look closely using various magnifying tools, and pick out the spots for their sampling flags.

Some of the wonderfully descriptive phrases overheard at a recent core tour:
trains of grain
slight textural change
sub-ice conditions
whispy sands
expect a more massive fascies at the base
the esker underneath
dry glacial advance phase
subtle little surfaces
there may be a transition or it may be quite abrupt
stratified once ice moves past
weird little compacted beds
slumped, shifted, moved, lifted
coarsening up
turbid current
advance pulse
rippling layers, herringbone type
reworking off a delta
glacieal surface of erosion
one full motif or cycle
the cycle was interrupted by volcanics
might be drilling mud
this is quite laminated compared to that
another grit layer

Can you imagine (or draw) what some of these might look like?

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